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Wood Floor Finishes: Satin Vs. Semi Gloss Vs. Matte

satin wood floorAlthough linoleum flooring options can last for 40 years or longer if properly maintained, many homeowners feel there’s nothing more desirable than hardwood floors. During the floor selection process, a lot of emphasis is placed on the type of wood and flooring pattern. But that’s not the only aesthetic consideration you’ll have to keep in mind. The type of floor finish makes a huge difference, too. Therefore, you may be wondering whether it’s best to go with a semi-gloss, a matte, or a satin wood floor finish. Each has its pros and cons; it really comes down to the type of material being used and your personal tastes. In today’s post, we’ll explain the features of each type of finish and the differences between the three.

Matte Wood Floor Finish

When you rank the different types of wood floor finishes from the least amount of sheen to the most, matte comes in first place. It provides only about 10-25% luster, meaning that it’s much more flat and clean-looking. It actually hides dirt and scuffs better for this reason and requires very little maintenance. That makes it an ideal choice for high-traffic areas (including commercial spaces) and children’s rooms, as well as homes with a casual, country flair. It can also work well in minimalist, European-inspired designs. This type of finish is often used on wire-brushed flooring.

Satin Wood Floor Finish

For many people, satin wood flooring is the perfect compromise in terms of sheen. It’s really no surprise, then, that it’s probably the most popular choice. It offers around 35-40% luster, meaning that it’s well-suited for formal or traditional design without requiring a lot of extra maintenance. As an added bonus, satin wood floors tend to retain their new look for longer than other finishes; this is due to the way the finish actually disperses light throughout a given space. It won’t show scuffs or scratches easily, either. It’s relatively neutral and can work well on a wide variety of wood types and colors. While it cannot be used on hand-brushed floors, it’s certainly the go-to floor finish for countless families.

Semi-Gloss Wood Floor Finish

Although a true glossy finish provides the highest amount of luster, that type of finish is typically reserved for specialty spaces (such as bowling alleys or gyms). Semi-gloss, on the other hand, is sometimes used in residential spaces. Its shine falls anywhere between 45-55%, making it more reflective than satin wood floors. It used to be one of the more popular floor finishing choices, but it’s not used nearly as often in modern designs. Floors with glossier finishes do tend to wear out more quickly (and sometimes unevenly), which can be a problem in high-traffic areas. With this finish, debris and scratches will also be more noticeable. It’s generally not thought to be the most practical choice for busy families, but it still has its place in high-end homes. If a glossy floor is your preference, you’ll want to schedule regular cleaning sessions to ensure your floors keep their shine.

Now that you’re more familiar with the three main types of wood floor finishes, you can make a determination about your own inclinations for your home design. Of course, if going green is a top priority for you, you’ll want to check out our wide array of environmentally friendly wood floor finishes. That way, you can focus on the the appearance of your floors and the health of both your family and the planet.

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